Guest post by Neve Spicer
You know that saying, ‘You are what you eat’? Well, it has been discovered that the same thing holds true when it comes to thought. You are what you think. Or, when it comes to childbirth, you can think of it another way, ‘Where your mind goes, your body follows’.
Positive birthing affirmations are simple, yet remarkably effective.
By repeating positive statements to yourself, you confirm their truth to your subconscious mind. This can have a powerful effect on both your emotions, beliefs and expectations surrounding birth.
In previous times, people would scoff at the idea of positive birth affirmations as mere pseudoscience. It’s quite common for people to fall into the trap of disbelief and dismissal when faced with something they do not understand.
Yet, as the study of neuroscience and psychology progresses, a mounting body of evidence is showing that the self-hypnosis behind positive birthing affirmations can support calmer, less painful, and more satisfying birth experiences. It’s no wonder, then, that these affirmations are becoming a favorite tool used by expectant mothers.
What are Positive Birth Affirmations?
Positive birth affirmations are simply statements about you and your upcoming birth that are framed in a wholly positive light.
Here’s an example:
My mind is calm and focused, and my body is deeply relaxed.
I trust my body, my instincts, and nature to lead me and my baby gently through labour and birth.
Say these to yourself daily and you’ll find your head pleasantly filling with positive beliefs about the birth of your child. This will help you to approach labor with calm and confidence. Your body will respond and will assist you to birth your baby as quickly and as easily as possible.
How Do Positive Birthing Affirmations Help?
Positive birth affirmations work on the same principle that hypnosis does. Medical hypnotherapy has been recognised as a useful tool by the medical community since the 1950s. Research evidence and case reports have revealed it’s effectiveness for treating and even eliminating pain, stress, and anxiety.
Like other forms of hypnosis, repeating positive birth affirmations during pregnancy is a way of altering your conscious perceptions, your mood, and your thoughts and feelings. For example, suggestions may influence how you perceive your contraction. Birth affirmations often focus on feeling relaxed, comfortable and safe, and perceiving labour sensations as positive and productive.
Recent studies on childbirth hypnosis found that women who used these techniques experienced a more natural and stress-free labour and delivery than those who did not.
Repeating positive affirmations on a daily basis is essentially like reprogramming the brain and changing how it perceives its environment. Instead of thinking negative thoughts filled with anxiety and fear, the mother adjusts her thinking to focus on thoughts filled with self-confidence and positivity.
How Do I Begin Using Positive Birthing Affirmations?
First, find a list of affirmations that you resonate with. Next, choose the statements you like the most. Now write them out and put them somewhere obvious, such as walls, mirrors, or in your handbag. Finally, read them out loud several times each day.
The human brain can only hold a certain amount of information at a given time. As you repeat your positive affirmations, your negative ‘self-talk’ is automatically squeezed out of your mind to be replaced with reassuring and confidence-building thoughts.
Using positive birthing affirmations during pregnancy, labour, and the birthing process can result in a more comfortable and natural childbirth experience. It is a remarkably effective tool for an expectant mother to have on her side.
Neve Spicer is the founder and editor of WeTheParents, the pregnancy and parenting guide. As the mother of three delightful children, she shares her experience and knowledge with her fellow mamas to make their journeys easier. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.